Toronto’s protest industry has been rather slow the past few months. After Idle No More crumbled, and the reality was exposed how the grassroots movement was hijacked by people in the labour movement, fewer and fewer people came out to play. Embarrassed and discouraged by increasingly smaller crowds, the people of the labour movement needed a miracle- as Elizabeth May said today, who’d have thought that miracle would have come from the Harper Government!
The gift was, of course, Bill C-51; the source of endless amounts of angry rhetoric from the chattering classes suffering from Harper Derangement Syndrome. Personally, I’m unsure about the bill. After almost four years of research into activist militancy I can see a clear and present danger- but I’m not a lawyer, and there’s so much FUD being spread around it’s hard to know what the real risks are.
So, I made my way to yesterday’s Toronto Bill C-51 rally on a quest to find out what people’s objections are. From the moment I arrived it felt like a reunion, everywhere I looked I recognized people I know and have written about from Occupy, the Robocall rallies, Idle No More, and Toronto’s failed attempt to replicate the Quebec student strikes. Some were friendly, some hostile, and an associate of the head of the NDP’s Socialist Caucus threw a cup of coffee on me. Join me as I share my experience reporting on yet another AstroTurf protest safari!